MY SUNDAY JOURNAL
By Dalton Roberts
MISS SALLIE'S BOY
Sallie Crenshaw was a shiny-souled black lady who considered herself a
missionary to inner city kids. I met her when I was heading up a youth
job-training program where we took some of the toughest school drop-outs
and placed them in work experience places.
Her Good Shepherd Day Care Center was one of them. We often referred to
the "graduates" of her center as "miracle kids"
because when Miss Sallie got through loving them and making them feel
special, so many of them miraculously changed.
Today in my journal there was a note from her dated 1986. Her sweet
little hand was trembling so much I could hardly read it.
It reminded me of her final days in a nursing home. I went there often
to rub her back, feet, arms and legs and one day she wanted me to wheel
her out into the sunlight.
Next time I saw her she said, "I really had some fun the last time
you were here. When you left, all the patients who saw us together were
asking who you were and I told them, ‘He's my boy.'"
I will always remember that merry, mischievous chuckle. And my response:
"Miss Sallie, it is such an honor for this little white boy to be
called one of your boys."
So much of her became a part of me, that I feel she was my engrafted
second mother. She's still right there in my heart, loving me back to
wholeness when I go astray.
A friend was talking about two older persons who had been dating and
were experiencing some pushing of each other's old hot buttons. She
said, "With old lovers, it's BYOB -- bring your own baggage."
Honey, it ain't just old folks. We all bring old baggage to new
relationships. Some of it goes back to infancy. But I think it IS true
that older lovers, in establishing a relationship, must be more aware
because they are toting more baggage (experiences).
The solution is to check your baggage. Review it with each other. Be
patient with each other. Be kind. Just because you have been hurt many
times doesn't mean that everyone you meet is hell-bent to hurt you
Every time we rehash old miserable experiences, we are actually
re-soldering the wiring to our hot buttons. What's wrong with getting
some of them disconnected?
As we check our baggage, we are often surprised at how much of it we
discover we can just toss away, like old socks with holes in them. Why
hang on to old memories with holes in them?
BYOB but check it often and throw away all the old dirty, musty stuff
that's full of holes.